Posted in art school advice

How to Art School, part 1: Why

Hi, everyone! I’m Masha, and welcome to Sticky Pencils! Here we’ll focus on The Art School Life, with some geeking out over comics, books and cartoons mixed in. I’m going to start this blog off with a series of posts I wrote last spring about my college application experience. I hope the high school classes of 2017 and beyond find this useful.

When I was researching art schools, I found a sad lack of resources on the internet. There was a tumblr blog post that recommended the Academy of Art university over Calarts! I saw a lot of people sending asks about specific art schools to general college app help blogs with no art school related knowledge, or asking artists from Europe what they think about attending some American art college. I hope this blog can serve as a one-stop art school related information base, so that impressionable youngsters won’t find themselves dropping tons of money on something they only have vague hunches about.

This blog will be following my adventures as a SCAD animation/sequential art student and how I stay organized and totally on top of everything (I hope.)I’m not an expert on being in art school (yet) but I AM an expert on getting to art school. When I say art school, I specifically mean art school in the United States- not an arts program at a large university or an art school in any other country. I haven’t experienced those things and am extra unqualified to write about them. Anyway, since my school’s shut down until Wednesday due to a hurricane, I’m going to tell you all why I decided to go to art school in the first place.

There are tons of articles floating around on the internet explaining why NOT to go to art school– but every year, thousands of young artists make the decision to go anyway. So should you?

There are two major reasons to go to an art school as opposed to teaching yourself online- motivation and connections.

First, motivation. Some people can lock themselves in their room and draw diligently for hours on end, weeks at a time. Some people need other people to give them deadlines and assignments to make them draw things that will improve their skills and portfolios. For people of the second kind, studying art at a college would be a good option. Personally, I work well in a school environment, so going to school to learn how to do art better seemed like a logical next step. If you’re a mostly self-taught artist, and feel like you can teach yourself to a level where you can work in the industry of your choice, go for it! I wish you luck. If you still want to go to art school, keep reading.

The second thing is connections. Are you comfortable forging friendships with strangers on the internet? Are you comfortable going to conventions with your work and contacting whoever is in charge of hiring talent in your industry of choice? Are you confident in your ability to share your art online to the point that the people you want to be hired by see it?

Art school will make those things significantly easier, and give you access to professors and fellow students who can connect you to internships and jobs. A lot of internships are only available to college students too– another reason to go to art school, or to major in art at a university.

Lots of talented people working in the art world never went to art school, such as Natasha Allegri or Lauren Zuke. Lots of other people did go to art school. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the benefits are worth the cost.



cartoonist, illustrator, reader, writer. SCAD 2020

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